Stories of Ramadan

Rappler.com
On Ramadan, two Muslims talk about their faith

Two Muslims share their stories and talk about their faith as they celebrate Ramadan.

David Lozada reports.

The night before Ramadan, Mustafa Samur leads the prayer meeting or taraweeh.

A Turkish-Muslim living in the Philippines for the past 5 years, he prepares for Ramadan with his Muslim brothers in a poor community.
Mustafa says Ramadan is more vibrant in the Philippines.

MUSTAFA SAMUR, IMAM: 

I like to be here in the Philippines because I love the Filipino culture and I love the Filipino style of life. And of course Muslims here are also more friendly and also all aspects of society…is more fun in the Philippines. When I see people of the Philippines, I say, this must be the country that I should stay. I should help people.

The holy month of Ramadan is celebrated by Muslims worldwide, the ninth month of the Muslim lunar calendar Hijrah.

DAVID LOZADA: 

Ramadan is one of the 5 pillars of Islam. During this season, Muslims abstain from food and water from sunrise to sunset. They also abstain from doing evil deeds and having evil thoughts.

New convert Ayan Salva says Islam changed his life.

AYAN SALVA, MUSLIM CONVERT: 

Kasi naniniwala ako na yung fasting meron siyang good effects sa sarili. Sa Ramadan naman, ito yung total na pag-renew ng commitment mo sa taas na…sa whole year hindi ka safe sa kasalanan eh so kailangan mo i-wash out yung ganun.

(I believe that fasting has good effects on me. Ramadan is a renewal of commitment to Allah. We sin a lot every year so we need to wash it out.)

Though he recently underwent an operation, Ayan will still obey the teachings of Muhammad. He will still fast this Ramadan.

He is also thankful his family welcomed his conversion.
They say he is a changed man.

AYAN SALVA, MUSLIM CONVERT: 

Kahit pamilya ko naging okay sila sa pagiging Muslim ko. Usually yung mga nagiging Muslim na tao, nire-reject sila ng pamilya nila pagkatapos. Sa akin naman, hindi ako ni-reject. Masaya naman nanay ko sa akin. Kasi natigil lahat ng vices.

(My family is ok with me being Muslim. Those who are new converts are usually rejected by their families. In my case, I wasn’t rejected. My mom was happy for me. I gave up all my vices.)

Mustafa says Ramadan teaches empathy for the less fortunate, generosity and charity — the way Muhammad, the last Prophet lived.

MUSTAFA SAMUR, IMAM: 

It was the time the Almighty Allah showered his blessings to the people. This is like a festival for all believers.

Mustafa and Ayan pray for Muslims around the world, for the strength and faith to endure the next 30 days. 

David Lozada, Rappler, Quezon City.

-Rappler.com

Editor’s note: In our voice report, we say that Ramadan happens on the 8th month of the lunar calendar, when it actually occurs on the 9th month. We regret and apologize for the error.

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